Busted Halo
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Mike Hayes :
255 article(s)

Mike Hayes is the senior editor for the Googling God section at BustedHalo.com.
December 25th, 2004
The challenge of Christmas

It’s my job to put together the manger scene each year in my house. I get out the animals, and the 3 Kings (who don’t get to go into the manger until Epiphany), Joseph with his now broken hand and Mary, the heroine of the barn. Finally my favorite piece, the baby Jesus gets placed in the manger and all the statues stare and adore Baby-Lord.
God is exactly where I like Him—quiet and humble in a manger, lowly, unchallenging; easy to control. Seeing the Christ-child in the manger requires nothing on my part but the ability to sit, adore and presumably, convert oxygen into carbon dioxide.
There is comfort indeed in Jesus’ silence as an unspeakable baby. God empties Himself, as a vulnerable little baby,…

December 16th, 2004
Clint Eastwood, my father and going the distance.

“Please kill me. I don’t want this anymore. Please kill me.”
Three years ago, just a few weeks after my wedding, my 74-year-old mother spoke those haunting words to my father while she struggled to recover from a risky surgical procedure to repair her colon. Doctors had only given her a 25% chance of surviving and after the surgery, her recovery was slow and depression loomed large. She spent her days in anxiety and tears while my father watched her lose her will to live. Still, he traveled every day to be by her side. He slept little and worried much. My mother’s words rang in my ear this past weekend as I watched Clint Eastwood’s gripping tale, Million Dollar Baby (spoiler alert: Stop…

November 4th, 2004
Should Scott Peterson get the Death Penalty?

When I hear opponents to the death penalty speak about the criminals they hope to save from execution, they often mention that the decks were stacked against these criminals. An astonishing number of people who receive death sentences had upbringings fraught with poverty, abuse and addiction. Certainly there is some wisdom in considering someone’s background when judging their criminal behavior, but in the case of the death sentence recently handed down in California for Scott Peterson we can cast that argument aside. With Peterson, we are faced with a man who doesn’t fit the stereotypical profile of people on death row. He did not grow up disadvantaged. He was the captain of his high school golf…

October 31st, 2004
A Neighborhood Divided Local man hasn't had Trick or Treaters since the Reagan administration.

At first I thought it’s because of my mole, you know, the one here on my nose? Like, I don’t think it’s that big a deal anymore, I mean after the therapy and the cream. But sometimes people still make comments like “Technically speaking, you might want to consider
listing that thing as a dependent?” silly stuff like that from my accountant. But I don’t think that’s any reason kids wouldn’t want candy. I mean, who doesn’t love candy? Especially the organic candy I have, which is, you know, healthy and all, not like all the processed garbage kids have these days. Honestly, who would want a “Milky Way” when you could have an organic oatmeal soy surprise?…

October 1st, 2004
Babe Ruth's Curse isn't dead until the Red Sox win a World Series

True Red Sox fans know the pain and hardship of loss. Historically, their team doesn’t simply lose, they invent new
and creative ways of doing so. A recent HBO documentary likened Red Sox rooting to “looking into the sun.” Another fan said that rooting for Boston is “like watching the Wizard of Oz and Dorothy dies at the end.”
For years, Sox fans have maintained that their beloved team is cursed by the ghost of Babe Ruth who placed a hex on his former club for selling him to the Yankees. Since 1918 the Red Sox have been unable to capture the World Series title, blowing leads with only one out to go in some cases.
Now I’m not one for admitting a belief in such voodoo, but there does seem…

September 6th, 2004
To whom can a religious person turn for mental health?

At a recent engagement encounter retreat, one of the many Catholic marriage prep programs offered to engaged couples, a couple inquired about marriage counseling “in case we ever have need for it in the future.” The response given by the resident “Catholic psychologist” was that it was “paramount that they find a Catholic psychologist who’ll be sensitive to their religious perspective.”
A puzzled couple wondered why this was case? What do religion and mental health have to do with one another? Didn’t Freud hate religion? What do the expressions of religious tradition have to do with our psychological well being? Does my shrink need to be Catholic if I am…

August 3rd, 2004

August 15 is the Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary in which Catholics believe that Mary was assumed into heaven, body and soul after her death.

This does not mean that Mary did not die, nor does it mean that Mary was all powerful and rose from the dead and ascended into heaven under her own power. Rather, Catholics believe that Jesus, out of love for his human mother, assumed her body and soul into heaven after her earthly life was over.

Catholics believe that Mary’s assumption is a foretaste of what all believers will undergo at the end of time. In other words, Mary’s assumption is a pre-view of our own bodily assumption when the world ends.

Nothing certain is known about Mary’s death. The earliest…

August 2nd, 2004
Paulist Father John Ardis counts the Democratic Presidential nominee as a member of his flock.

John Kerry’s nomination in 2004 marks the first time a major party has nominated a Roman Catholic for president since another senator from Massachusetts, John F. Kennedy, secured the nod in 1960. Back then, Kennedy had to deal with suspicions that a Catholic president might be unduly influenced by the pope. Today, Kerry is running in a far different political and religious climate in which some US bishops have stated that they would refuse to allow the senator to receive the Eucharist in their diocese because of his stand on “life” issues. When not campaigning, Kerry and his wife Teresa’s home parish is the Paulist Center in Boston, a small, unassuming chapel;adjacent to Boston Common.…

July 6th, 2004
Struggling to forgive an ex-lover on her deathbed

“Can you come and see me?” said his ex-girlfriend over the phone months after they went through a bitter and hurtful breakup.
“And why would I want to do that?” said the scorned male, passively refusing the invitation.
“Because I’m dying and I just want to see you one last time.”
This was the dilemma that my friend was presented with just a few days ago. He thought he had pushed the pain of this bad relationship aside months ago only for it to infiltrate his mind again when he answered his cell phone.
Can you forgive and forget?His ex wanted his forgiveness. She had ruined their relationship and during the course of the break-up informed my friend that she not only never loved…

May 9th, 2004
A Schizophrenic Experiments in Reality Filmmaking

Schizophrenia has often been popularly misconstrued
as split or multiple personality disorder along the lines of what was shown in the 1976 television movie Sybil, the true story of a woman who has 16 different personalities including two males. “People Say I’m Crazy,” John Cadigan’s autobiographical documentary chronicling how he has coped with this mysterious and debilitating disease over the past twelve years, is an astonishingly personal reminder that schizophrenia is actually better defined as a “break with reality.” His unflinching account of the struggle to understand and live with his sickness has the unintentionally ironic consequence of exposing…

May 9th, 2004
Mudslinging is not a Gospel Value

There’s been yet another casualty in the culture wars that have raged in the United States over the past decade. On August 18, 2004, Deal Hudson, publisher of the conservative Catholic journal, Crisis , resigned his position with the Bush campaign as an adviser on how to court the Catholic vote. The scandal surrounding Hudson stems from an accusation of sexual misconduct with a female student approximately ten years ago at Fordham University where he was a tenured philosophy professor.
This might not even merit a mention, considering the lurid personal tales that the American public has been treated to over the past few years (Bill Clinton, William Bennett, and James McGreevey come to mind), but Hudson’s…

May 4th, 2004
Does turning on the net turn you on?

In the first part of this series, we explored what sexual addiction is and examined how easy access to pornography on the internet poses a problem for those who struggle with sexual compulsivity.
This second installment explores in greater detail how the internet creates problems for those who are prone to sexual addiction. To do so, we need to look at what Patrick Cairnes author of In the Shadows of the Net… calls the arousal templates.
Cairnes cites three primary emotion systems that make up our arousal templates:

a sex drive, commonly called lust, which motivates us to
mate and continue our species.
Attraction or infatuation, which helps us choose a mate.
And Attachment which helps people sustain relationships

May 4th, 2004
BustedHalo looks at Sexual Addiction and Internet Pornography

There can be little doubt that the technological revolution that brought the power of the internet to the average consumer over the past decade has opened up enormous possibilities for sharing and disseminating information and has changed our lives for the better in countless ways. Similarly, there is also little doubt that the loftiest creations of our finest minds are often manipulated for the basest purposes. Despite the obvious virtues of the internet, there is also a shadow side.
According to Nielsen Net Ratings in 2003, 32 million unique individuals visited a porn
site in September alone in the United States . Of those 32 million, 22 million viewers were male. On any given day in cyberspace, 260 million…

May 3rd, 2004
True tales from the pews #2

Fr. Jim Martin’s recent article recounting the worst homilies ever heard sent an all-too-familiar chill through my born and bred Catholic bones. Unfortunately, I’ve also sat in the pews many times thinking that I’d rather eat paste with kindergarten children than listen to another second of a preacher’s mindless drivel.
While I try to support my parish community as much as I can, I do so under certain conditions. I’ve determined that my family can afford to give $20 a week as our offering. (I’m a lay minister and my wife’s a teacher—you do the math.) But after sitting through countless bad sermons I decided to take matters into my own hands. Let’s face facts,…

April 10th, 2004
What Will Mel Gibson Do with All of That Money?

Reports say that Mel Gibson stands to make over 350 million dollars from his movie The Passion of the Christ. That’s a huge payoff for a personal investment of 30 million dollars—though it was invested at considerable risk, since he had no idea whether the film would be a colossal flop, or whether it might put his long career in the movie industry in peril.
And while we usually think that risky investments are entitled to huge payoffs when they succeed, doesn’t the gospel message call us to a higher standard?
Missing the point Though Gibson’s movie certainly portrayed the brutality of Jesus’ last hours on earth, it was a far cry from giving us a vivid picture of Christ’s meaningful…

March 14th, 2004
Garden State explores the lives of over-medicated young adults

In an opening scene of Zach Braff’s film, Garden State , a plane is spiraling downward to its fiery doom, while in the cabin Braff’s character Andrew Largeman calmly adjusts the air control nozzle above his seat. Upon awakening from this bizarre dream Largeman’s nightmare comes to life when his father phones to inform him of his mother’s death and he reacts by quietly heading off to his job as a waiter at a Chinese restaurant.
Jarring contrasts like this are at the heart of Garden State, a brash, moving and wickedly funny dark comedy that Braff, a veteran of NBC’s Scrubs , wrote and directed himself. In his directorial debut, Braff tells the story of twenty-somethings who are lost…

February 17th, 2004
Why The Apprentice Is the Best New Show on TV

I never thought that I’d find a spiritual lesson in a show run by Donald Trump, but The Apprentice seems to have something in every episode.
For those who haven’t seen the show, it consists of a face-off between two teams vying to outdo each other in a small business venture (everything ranging from street vendoring to planning a charity auction).
The winners get perks (visiting George Steinbrenner in the owner’s box at Yankee Stadium) while the losing team has to face Trump and his cronies in the dreaded “board room” where somebody will get fired (a preview of which you’ve surely seen in the commercial).The wisdom of The DonaldTrump realizes that in business, things don’t…

January 6th, 2004
Keeping the Romance Alive, Literally

When I was in college my friend Mike often said that his goal in life was simply “to be fat and happy.”
He may have been onto something.
Give the gift of lifespanWant to prolong your life? Apparently there is one sure-fire popular way to pop a couple of years on to your lifespan.
Have sex.
Now let’s qualify that a bit, since we don’t want it said that BustedHalo’s writers are encouraging rampant sexual deviancy around the Notre Dame quad on Wednesday and Friday nights.
Many studies on longevity point to the fact that “intimate sexual relations twice a week” add, on average, two years to one’s lifespan. Now, that means, for this to work, the sex needs to be with someone…

January 5th, 2004
The Adult Journey of a Child of Divorce

Lynn Cassella’s profound experience as a child of divorce shines through in this small and practical guide for all those whose lives have been touched by divorce.
Divorce journeyCassella speaks of her own journey as a child of divorce and uses her experience and the experience of others as guides throughout chapters that focus on a specific hurt that the child of divorce may be feeling.
For Lynn Cassella, the pain of her parents’ divorce didn’t strike her on impact. It wasn’t until she was in college that she began to feel emotions like shame and guilt. Her relationship with her father became strained, and she began to hold unhealthy resentments toward him.
Cassella reveals so much of…

January 4th, 2004
Central Park's highly touted new art installation offers one New Yorker little reason for reflection.

But I’ll only know that once they get them the hell outta here.My office is only two blocks from New York’s Central Park and yet, I hadn’t been able to get over to the park to see Christo and his wife Jean-Claude’s latest public exhibit called “The Gates”. I’m heading to Ireland in a few days for a much needed vacation and my friends, knowing that the installation is only up for a few weeks and would be down by the time I returned implored me, “You have to go see ‘The Gates’—don’t miss them!”
So my way into the office this morning I made my way into the Park from my subway stop on 6th Avenue.
My reaction?
“Well…that’s 45 minutes…

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